The Wire

  • Assistant U.S. attorney to replace Hart in leading Special Prosecutions Division

    Excerpt:

    Multiple sources have told Yellowhammer News that Anna “Clark” Morris, the first assistant U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, will take over the Special Prosecutions Division of the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.

    The announcement could be made as soon as Tuesday. Attorney General Steve Marshall accepted the resignation of Deputy Attorney General Matt Hart, who has led the division for years, on Monday morning.

    Morris served as the acting U.S. Attorney for Alabama’s middle district last year, in between President Donald Trump firing former USA George Beck in March of 2017 and now-USA Louis Franklin being confirmed that September.

  • EPA official resigns after indictment on Alabama ethics charges, replaced by Alabama native

    Excerpt:

    Even with Trey Glenn leaving his post as the EPA’s Region Four administrator, Alabama will still have strong ties to the leader of that office.

    According to The Hill, Mary Walker was named by EPA acting administrator Andrew Wheeler to fill the vacant role in an acting capacity after Glenn resigned on Monday following his indictment on ethics charges in Alabama.

    Walker is a native of the Yellowhammer State and had been serving as Glenn’s deputy.

  • Tim Tebow Foundation’s Night to Shine coming to Birmingham in 2019

    Excerpt:

    The Tim Tebow Foundation’s “Night to Shine,” a magical prom night experience for people with special needs, is coming to Birmingham.

    Oak Mountain Presbyterian Church will serve as one of the nearly 500 churches around the world to host Night to Shine on February 8, 2019.

    Night to Shine is an event for people 14 and older with special needs to receive royal treatment. Guests will enter the event on a red carpet filled with a crowd and paparazzi. Once they make it into the building, guests will be able to choose from an array of activities to partake in including hair and makeup stations, shoe shining areas and limousine rides. They can also choose their corsages and boutonnieres.

56 mins ago

Mo Brooks questions Trump administration’s reaction to lawsuit about counting illegal aliens in the census

(Fox News/YouTube, White House/Flickr)

Republican Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-5) and Attorney General Steve Marshall have filed a suit against the federal government and their plans to count illegal immigrants in the 2020 census and use those numbers for congressional reapportionment, as well as the allocation of federal funding.

An adverse decision for Brooks, Marshall and Alabama would most likely cost the state a congressional seat, untold federal dollars and an Electoral College vote. States that have welcomed illegal immigrants are poised to benefit from their inclusion, and if this is allowed, it would incentivize policies that bring more illegal immigrants to those states.

Brooks appeared on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show” Tuesday and said counting illegal immigrants on the census would result in American citizens losing out on representation while illegal immigrants gain power and influence.

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He added that members of Congress would become more inclined to pander to those who advocate for more illegal immigration.

“These large non-citizen populations in the state of California have an adverse effect on all the rest of us because they’re taking congressional seats from the rest of us,” Brooks explained. “[T]hat is the equivalent of about 25 or 30 congressional seats that are being taken from law-abiding states and given to those states that, by in large, are sanctuaries for illegal conduct.”

The Department of Justice helmed by Trump appointee and acting-Attorney General Matt Whitacker has asked federal courts to dismiss the lawsuit on a procedural basis for lack of standing. This move leads one to believe they will fight this lawsuit in court, a decision that has Brooks “baffled.”

“I am baffled that the Trump Department of Justice, at least in this instance, would side with sanctuary cities,” he said. “I would hope that they would do what you’re supposed to do as an attorney representing the United States of America, analyze it, and do what I have done. And that concludes that the 14th Amendment for the United States Constitution and Equal Protection Clause guarantees that no one citizen’s vote will be worth any more or less than another citizens vote.”

He argued the decision by the DOJ harms Americans and empowers pro-illegal immigration states.

“[W]hen you count illegal aliens in the census count, that redistributes Electoral College votes, and that redistributes congressional seats, those jurisdictions – particularly those who are sanctuary cities or sanctuary states – their citizens get more power per vote because there are fewer citizens in each of those Congressional Seats and the difference is the illegal alien headcount,” Brooks stated.

You would think Brooks would find a common ally in the current administration with a president who has made his campaign and administration about protecting Americans first and reigning in our out of control immigration policy but it does not appear to be heading that way on this issue and Alabama could lose out big time.

Listen here:

@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a conservative talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

8 hours ago

7 Things: Controversial deputy AG is out, Walt Maddox gets a participation trophy from himself, the SPLC demands no penalties for unpaid speeding tickets and more …

(Walt Maddox/YouTube, Pixabay)

7. Ivanka Trump has a Hillary Clinton problem

— In what will surely be viewed as hypocritical and foolish behavior, President Donald Trump’s daughter and White House official, Ivanka Trump reportedly had been using a personal email account to conduct government business including interactions from a private email account with cabinet secretaries and forwards of her schedule to her assistant.

— There are no serious allegations that Trump used the email for anything that would be considered classified, but with the Democrats taking over the House of Representatives, they will surely be looking to exact revenge for the issues raised in the 2016 campaign. The fact that Jared Kushner set up a series of ijkfamily.com email accounts will also be scrutinized.

6. Alabama native and Yellowhammer founder Cliff Sims has written “Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House” about his time in the White House

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— While going from Trump’s campaign to the West Wing, Sims kept pages of notes from his time as one of Trump’s trusted confidants.

— Sims summed the book up with a twist on one of Trump’s famous quotes, “Lincoln famously had his Team of Rivals. Trump had his Team of Vipers. We served. We fought. We brought our egos. We brought our personal agendas and vendettas. We were ruthless. And some of us, I assume, were good people.”

5. The dumb fight with the Trump administration and CNN may be over

— After suggesting the White House would still revoke the press pass from CNN’s Jim Acosta, it appears they are prepared to give him back his pass permanently and issue a series of rules that all reporters must follow.

— The rules state that reporters may only ask one question, follow-ups are given “at the discretion of the president or other White House officials” and reporters must “physically surrender” the microphone when asked to, but these have not been agreed to by the press so this could enter another contentious phase.

4. Another federal judge has decided he is in charge of immigration enforcement and stops President Trump from enforcing new asylum rules while the border patrol had to close a border entry point yesterday

— A federal judge says the Trump administration can no longer deny asylum to migrants who illegally cross the southern border. The judge added, “[H]e may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden” while the previous president’s DACA decision still stands.

Democrats are also raising concerns about an email conversation between Trump administration officials wondering if the administration will share census information with other agencies, making it less likely that illegals will fill out the census.

3. The Southern Poverty Law Center thinks Alabama shouldn’t be able to use unpaid traffic tickets to suspend licenses — They already want bail ended 

— The SPLC wants to block Alabama Law Enforcement Agency from suspending driver’s licenses of drivers with unpaid parking tickets, leaving the tickets unpaid and without penalty for not paying them.

— The lawless argument the SPLC is making here is basically that people shouldn’t have to pay the penalties for the offenses they commit, which is similar to their argument that bail is illegal.

2. Failed gubernatorial candidate Walt Maddox gifts himself a participation trophy for getting 20,000 more votes than Senator Doug Jones and still losing

— In what millennials would call a “weird flex,” Tuscaloosa’s mayor decided to take to Twitter and post an infographic laying out how his loss to Governor Kay Ivey in early November was a really some symbolic victory.

— Maddox cited his 20,000 more votes than Sen, Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) got in 2017, claimed he had enough votes to win any other gubernatorial election since 2018 and surpassed his expected vote total and his number of donors. But he still lost by 300,000+ vote.

1. Alabama’s Attorney General fires/accepts the resignation of controversial prosecutor Matt Hart

— Matt Hart, the deputy attorney general of Alabama who led the Special Prosecutions Division, left his position on Monday. Hart has a series of high-profile government corruption convictions under his belt.

— Hart oversaw the convictions of former Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, the deal that saw Governor Robert Bentley resign and numerous other high-profile cases, but his tactics have been questioned repeatedly and many have alleged there is something more to this move than meets the eye.

1 day ago

7 Things: Trump gives himself an A+, Alabama’s unemployment rate is still really low, the caravan is at the border and more …

(Donald Trump/Instagram)

7. Democrats see a rising star in Beto O’Rourke — He agrees

— O’Rourke joins Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) as a potential 2020 candidate who said no to the presidential race before the midterms and who now is cracking the door open to a run.

— Recent polling shows O’Rourke ranking as high as third on polls where Hillary Clinton is left out. He is viewed as someone who can get votes in red states.

6. The Florida recount is over while some still can’t get over the results in Georgia

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— Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) on Sunday conceded the Florida Senate race after a hand recount had him trailing by 10,000 votes, which is down about 2,500 votes from the machine recount.

— While Nelson and Andrew Gillum conceded their races in Florida this weekend, Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams remained defiant calling Governor-elect Brian Kemp the “legal” winner. She added, “But will I say that this election was not tainted, was not a disinvestment and a disenfranchisement of thousands of voters? I will not say that.”

5. Voting changes could be coming to Alabama, but not as many as you might think 

— Even though none of the claims of voter disenfranchisement and suppression came to fruition in Alabama, there will still be a push to change some of Alabama’s voting laws to include “no excuse absentee balloting.” Alabama is one of 20 states that requires a reason.

— But don’t expect early voting in Alabama because Secretary of State John Merrill sees no reason for the added cost, telling AL.com, “There is no future for early voting as long as I’m secretary of state.”

4. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) says the government has nukes so you should just turn in your guns

— In another incident of a Democrat saying something a Republican would be criticized hourly on cable news for, the California Congressman responded to a Twitter user about government gun confiscation causing a war by saying, “And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit. I’m sure if we talked we could find common ground to protect our families and communities.”

— This isn’t the first time Swalwell, who came to Alabama to campaign for losing candidates, talked about this topic of gun confiscation. He wrote in USA Today, “Ban assault weapons, buy them back, go after resisters”.

3. The caravan is coming and the locals are not happy; No one thinks they will show up for their hearings if they are let in

— About 2,000 illegal immigrants have reached the American border. The mayor of Tijuana has called it a “tsunami,” referred to them as “bums” and added that they have turned some over to Mexican authorities for deportation.

— And if the U.S. allows them to enter the country in any way, it is increasingly less likely that they will remain in the legal system as a government report notes about others granted access: “The number of [unaccompanied alien children] who were ordered removed in absentia, that is, after failing to appear for immigration court, has skyrocketed from 450 in FY 2010 to 6,662 in FY 2018, an almost 1,500 percent increase during a period of time when the number of UACs apprehended increased about 272 percent (from 18,411 in FY 2010 to 50,036 in FY 2018). In fact, in FY 2018, half of all case completions involving UACs were in absentia orders, according to [Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review] compared to an overall in absentia average of 25 percent of all case completions.”

2. Alabama’s unemployment rate stays low as the economy keeps humming

— The state’s unemployment rate is now at 4.1 percent. More than 40,000 people who didn’t have jobs last year are now employed.

— The trend continues with a record number of people employed, 2,122,970, and that has continued for the last six months, with Vestavia Hills, Homewood, Alabaster, Madison and Northport leading the state with sub-three unemployment rates.

1. President Donald Trump gives himself an A+

— Trump, who just lost 30+ seats in the House, told Fox News’ Chris Wallace, “I would give myself, I would – look, I hate to do it, but I will do it, I would give myself an A+, is that enough? Can I go higher than that?”

— When discussing his accomplishments Trump said, “I think I’m doing a great job. We have the best economy we’ve ever had” and “We’re doing really well. We would have been at war with North Korea if, let’s say, that administration continued forward.”

2 days ago

VIDEO: Voter suppression angst disappears, Doug Jones is running for re-election, pension problems plague Alabama and more on Guerrilla Politics…

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Dr. Waymon Burke take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— What happened to all of the voter suppression stories?

— Sen. Doug Jones is running for re-election, can he actually win?

— Are Birmingham and Alabama’s pensions able to be salvaged?

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Jackson and Burke are joined by Alabama State House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels to discuss the Democrats campaign and where they go next.

Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” directed at those who think they are going to take down the Alabama Accountability Act.

@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a conservative talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

4 days ago

7 Things: Doug Jones continues to draw fire for moves in D.C., DOJ fights back against Alabama on counting illegal aliens in the 2020 Census, poll shows 60 percent of Americans don’t want a second Trump term and more …

(Wikicommons)

7. Disgraced former Governor Robert Bentley and his mistress are running around Las Vegas

— Bentley and his former political advisor Rebekah Mason were seen in Las Vegas this week, the site of dermatology conference this weekend. Mason works for Bentley’s dermatology practice in Tuscaloosa.

— Bentley hilariously claimed that he an Mason never had an affair. He admitted to  “inappropriate” behavior,  but not “sexual activity” with Mason.

6. Florida takes another step towards getting their votes counted; Evidence of attempted fraud emerges

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— The Florida governor’s race has been decided in favor of the Republican, but a machine recount has triggered a hand recount in the U.S. Senate race. The recount must be done by Sunday, leaving plenty of time for more lawsuits and shenanigans.

— The media seems to be stuck on the idea that there is no evidence of voter fraud, in spite of a Naples Daily News story of a Democratic party leader telling staffers and others to use altered ballots to alleviate signature problems on absentee ballots and send in ballots after the state’s deadline in hopes a judge would allow them.

5. America is still not done with Hillary Clinton — A judge orders her to answer more questions

— An activist group, Judicial Watch, won a victory requiring the former secretary of state to explain her decisions involving her former aide Huma Abedin and the creation of the clintonemail.com system.

— The other question she must answer is concerning her answer to the House Select Committee on Benghazi where she said that 90 to 95 percent of her emails went through and “were in the State’s system” and “if they wanted to see them, they would certainly have been able to do so.”

4. Alabama infant mortality rate drops 

—Alabama’s infant death rate has gone from worst in the nation to an all-time low for the state. The Alabama Department of Public Health said new figures show the state’s infant mortality rate declined to 7.4 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2017.

— The drop was so drastic, the state was not sure all the deaths had been reported.

3. As if the midterms weren’t bad enough for the president, a new poll shows 60 percent say they don’t want Trump in 2020

— The Republicans lost 30+ House seats in the biggest Democrat gains in 40 years. They did make gains in the Senate, but those were smaller than expected. And, according to a recent poll, only 36 percent want to see a Trump second term.

— In our polarized world, independents are very important and 59 percent do not want Trump to win a second term. Keep in mind that this poll is done without an opponent for Trump. But as a base, these polling numbers do not bode well two years out from the next election.

2. The Department of Justice wants a case brought by Alabama over the counting of illegals dismissed; Then AG Jeff Sessions wanted the question asked

— This week, the DOJ argued for the dismissing of a case brought by Congressman Mo Brooks and Attorney General Steve Marshall to force the federal government not to count illegal aliens in the next census.

— Now, the former head of the DOJ, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has been accused of using “political influence” to keep a controversial question about citizenship in the 2020 Census. The “fear” is that the question will keep illegal immigrants from answering the question and being counted in calculations for Congressional representation and Electoral College votes.

1. Alabama Senator Doug Jones votes for Sen. Chuck Schumer for Majority Leader, giving the ALGOP another reason to pound him

— After Jones voted against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, many wrote him off. So, it should come as no surprise Jones’ decision to support Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as Senate minority leader has drawn a rebuke from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, who criticized Jones’ “latest embrace of the liberal Schumer-Pelosi agenda that already includes opposition to President Trump’s Supreme Court nominees and support of sanctuary cities and late-term abortions.”

— The ALGOP is clearly ready to take on Jones. They have regularly been criticizing his moves. They have a countdown clock to the end of his term on their website and ALGOP Chairwoman Terry Lathan told Yellowhammer News, “There is a deep hunger in our state to win this seat back”

5 days ago

Secretary of State Merrill: National voting issues an ’embarrassment,’ There were no voter suppression issues in Alabama

(J. Merrill/Facebook)

Across the United States of America, ballots are still being counted. Election results are being finalized, recounted and in some instances, changed.

Politicians of both major political parties have called into question results in different states. President Donald Trump has called for the results in Florida to be certified from Election Day so Florida Governor Rick Scott can be declared the next Republican Senator from Florida and Rep. Ron Desantis to be named the next Governor. Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says that if the elections were “fair,” the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Stacey Abrams, would be the governor-elect.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill was asked about these issues on “The Dale Jackson Show,” and called them “an embarrassment.”

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“I’ll tell you exactly what it is. It’s an embarrassment,” Merrill stated. “It’s an embarrassment to that individual community, it’s an embarrassment to that region of the state, it’s an embarrassment to that state and it’s an embarrassment to the nation as a whole.”

Merrill said he sees these continuing controversies causing people to question the legitimacy of elections.

“When they allow people to make up their own rules, make up their own laws and make up their own procedures and don’t follow the standards that are set aside, that’s a problem for everybody. It puts people in a position to lose confidence in the process. And whenever people begin to have their confidence erode in the process, then people quit participating because they don’t think when they cast their vote that their voice is going to be heard for the candidate of their choice. That’s a problem,” he warned.

As for Alabam’s issues, Merrill says they were overblown in the leadup to the election.

Partial transcript as follows:

JACKSON: You have voter issues across the state that I’m sure came up on Election Day. We’ve seen them come up in other states, as well. Anything of note happen in the state of Alabama that we should know about?

MERRILL: No, sir.

JACKSON: None?

MERRILL: No, sir.​

In 2000, the Bush/Gore situation cause half the country to believe the election was stolen. The 2016 Russian collusion story has been going on for over two years later with no end in sight. And now in 2018, we have a slow rolling blue wave that appears to have changed at least two Senate results and numerous House seats from the announced results on Election Night. Rightly, or wrongly, this does not cause people to trust the results.

If we all lose faith in our elections, there could be serious consequences in the future.

Listen:
@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a conservative talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

5 days ago

7 Things: Alabama has pension problems, the media is fine with Democrats calling legitimacy of elections into question, voter suppression gets lots of headlines but few real cases and more …

The 7 Things You Should Be Talking About Today

7. As Congress comes together in Washington D.C., two Alabama Congressmen make moves

— No one is officially challenging Nancy Pelosi for speaker of the House. She is “100 percent confident” she will win, but Rep. Terri Sewell  has remained silent on whether she will support Pelosi. Sewell is also running for a leadership position herself.

— Congressman Gary Palmer has been elected as Republican Policy Committee Chairman, fifth highest ranking leadership role amongst Republicans, which is a good position for him as he previously led the Alabama Policy Institute.

6. Illegal immigrants from a nonexistent caravan are climbing the border fence

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— When banned CNN journalist Jim Acosta was haranguing the president over the caravan, he said, “They are not going to be doing that,” when the president referenced them climbing gates at the Mexican border, but they are doing just that.

— The Border Patrol released a statement about migrants from Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador. It read, “If they attempt to enter illegally, they will have violated U.S. criminal law and in accordance with the President’s proclamation and the Interim Final Rule they would be ineligible for asylum.”

5. Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker had his appointment cleared by the Department of Justice as President Donald Trump slams the Mueller investigation again

— Much to the chagrin of Maryland, the media and members of Congress who at one point wanted former Attorney General Jeff Session fired before they were mad about him being fired, the hiring of the acting attorney general is legal.

— The president tweeted this morning about the special counsel investigation, saying, “They have found no collusion and have gone absolutely nuts,” adding that it is “A TOTAL WITCH HUNT LIKE NO OTHER IN AMERICAN HISTORY!”

4. President Donald Trump says Jim Acosta is a “grandstander” and “bad for the country”

— Trump ramped up his attacks on Acosta as reporters asked about the lawsuit CNN filed as Fox News and other outlets sided with CNN. Trump said, “Jim Acosta is just somebody who gets up and grandstands, he doesn’t even know what he’s asking you half of the time.”

— The Trump/CNN lawsuit will see some conclusion today as the judge said he will decide whether to return Acosta’s press pass, but the judge Timothy Kelly appeared to question the legitimacy of CNN’s argument saying, “We’ve all seen the clip.” He added Acosta “continued speaking after his time expired” and “wouldn’t give up his microphone.”

3. Voter suppression apparently didn’t happen anywhere — not in Georgia and not in Alabama

— The media and Democrats claimed there was voter suppression all over the country, specifically Alabama, Georgia and North Dakota. But post-election, there doesn’t appear to be much to it and now Georgia Democrats are running TV ads trying to find it.

— In Alabama, Election Day came and went and there were zero legitimate cases of voter suppression in the state of Alabama. In fact, four students who claimed suppression had their court cases dismissed in court by a Barack Obama-appointed judge.

2. Declaring things to be voter fraud without evidence is fine if you are a Democrat

— Two powerful Democrats, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), have declared that the reason Democrat candidate for Congress Stacy Abrams lost is because of voter fraud.

— When President Donald Trump made similar claims, also baseless, the media hammered him for it by saying the claims were “without evidence.” But these media darlings did not get that treatment.

1. Birmingham has a massive pension problem, as does the state

— Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin took to social media to announce that the city has a $378 million dollar pension problem over the next 30 years. he also said he will have a solution in a few weeks.

— Alabama’s pension problem is in a similar state. The state has up to $15 billion in unfunded liabilities face the state up to 2050 and we don’t seem ready to face that issue at all.

6 days ago

None of the ‘voter suppression’ stories pushed by the media in the run-up to the election came to fruition, including Alabama’s

(YHN)

The Madison County Democratic Party said hundreds of people were disenfranchised in 2016, and Alabama’s political media dutifully reported the story without evidence. They lied.

Election Day came and went and there were zero legitimate cases of voter suppression in the state of Alabama. In fact, four students who claimed suppression had their court cases dismissed in court by a Barack Obama-appointed judge.

Keep in mind, this happened after an election of a Democratic United States Senator in Alabama that was solely, incorrectly, on the turnout of black female voters.

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The same story could be told about the media feeding frenzy on voter suppression in Georgia that never panned out. It was so non-existent Georgia Democrats are running ads and have set up a hotline seeking it out a week later.

But Alabama Democrats wanted to get in on that fake nonsense, too.

It wasn’t just the South, though. The national media pretended that North Dakota was attempting to keep Native Americans from the polls. If they were, they failed.

That’s right, suppression was so rampant that more Native Americans than ever turned out at the polls.

It’s time we move past this idea that getting an I.D. is an insurmountable task or a threat to our way of life.

@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a conservative talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

6 days ago

7 Things: Republican midterms continue to show major warning signs, Alabama’s media and Democrats know they are screwed, CNN escalates its war with Donald Trump and more …

(W.Miller/YHN)

7. Amazon goes big, liberals and conservatives complain about the way the world works now

— Arlington, Virginia, and Long Island City in New York will each get $2.5 billion in investment and 25,000 jobs. Both will offer massive incentives to get the new split headquarters.

— A total of 238 cities competed for these sites, including non-qualifying Birmingham and Huntsville. Now, Amazon knows what all of these cities are offering and will probably use that information later.

6. Recount in Florida will continue on until November 20

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— In what appears to be a never-ending midterm election, Palm Beach County will continue to get more time to count their ballots. This will affect who Floridians elect as their next senator, governor and agriculture commissioner.

— Both Palm Beach County and Broward County continue to be flashpoints, but Bay County is getting in on this issue because they allowed 120 people to vote via email and fax.

5. Speaker Mac McCutcheon will be speaker of the Alabama State House

— The 77 members of the Alabama House Republican Caucus on Tuesday unanimously nominated Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) for another term leading the chamber in Montgomery.

— Speaker McCutcheon will oversee what many expect to be a controversial session of the Alabama legislature that will include lottery, Medicaid expansion, sports betting, gas taxes and other issues brought to the table for discussion.

4. The White House is preparing their answers in the Mueller probe as some Trump allies prepare for indictments

— President Donald Trump and his legal team are reportedly almost done with written answers to questions posed by special counsel Robert Mueller about Russian interference, but they are not expected to be answering obstruction of justice questions.

— Meanwhile, father of the birther conspiracy Jerome Corsi, believes he will be indicted in a perjury trap, and many believe Mueller is also closing in on Trump confidant Roger Stone for his ties with WikiLeaks. Stone has denied having any prior knowledge of the email dump other than what was publicly available.

3. CNN foolishly sues the White House because Jim Acosta lost his permanent press pass

— The argument CNN is making is based on the First and Fifth Amendment, saying that CNN “demands the return of the White House credentials of CNN’s Chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta’s First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process. We have asked this court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned to Jim, and will seek permanent relief as part of this process.”

— Legal experts are split on the matter, with the Washington Post reporting that Stuart Karle, former general counsel for the Wall Street Journal, pointed out that no reporter has an absolute right to attend these briefings. But Jameel Jaffer of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University says CNN is “entirely justified” and has a case.

2. The Alabama Democratic Party’s biggest backers, hacks in the media, have turned on them

— When Alabama Political Reporter’s Josh Moon isn’t calling everyone in Alabama “racist,” he spends his time shilling for whatever is the liberal cause of the day or pretending Democrats have a legitimate chance to win statewide elections, but now he is joining other Democrats in calling out the state party for their failures and saying lacks everything need to lead, saying, “Not the plan. Not the voice. Not the leadership.”

— Moon isn’t the only Democratic backer in the press that is voicing his frustration. Last week, AL.com’s John Archibald lamented the ineffectiveness of the Alabama Democratic Party. He said, “It’s that Democrats in Alabama face all that and their own inept, corrupt, corrosive party structure.”

1. If demographics are destiny, Republicans are screwed

— Republican strategists are starting to lick their wounds over the midterm losses where they lost 30+ House seats and made small gains in the Senate (losing two red states and finally flipping a few others). They don’t think the trends are good, but all is not lost.

— With Trump the face of the Republican Party, white men (a shrinking portion of the electorate) are the focus, while the focus for the Democrats is shifting to female, minority and suburban areas — where Trump’s brand of smashmouth doesn’t play well. Now we will see the fruits of the Russian investigations, Congressional investigations and two more years of non-stop media/Trump noise.

1 week ago

7 Things: Dems want impeachment, AL BOE member makes absurd racial allegation, Sessions may not be electorally viable and more …

(White House/Flickr)

7. Hillary Clinton is allegedly running, but rising star Beto O’Rourke is flying up in the polls amongst Democrats

— A new poll shows that Clinton isn’t even rating enough attention to be polled. Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and O’Rourke are polling in the top three with Democrats.

— This weekend, an aide for Hillary Clinton said that she is lurching to the left and will run again in 2020.

6. Bellefonte nuclear power plant may still be bought, but an extension has been granted

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— The developer now has until November 30 to secure financing for the plant, an extension from the November 14 deadline. He needs $89 million to pay for the mothballed plant located in Hollywood, Alabama.

—Franklin Haney believes there is money to be made with the plant, jobs to be created and he wants to keep pursuing the project. He is quoted saying, “We’ve been working day and night on this project for two years because it has such a great potential for thousands of jobs in the Valley and power that could be generated for an attractive price.”

5. Pretend outrage in Mississippi as everyone pretends to not understand a benign statement

— Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith said about a supporter who invited her to a speaking engagement, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.”  Now, the national media is giving her the Roy Moore and Justice Brett Kavanaugh treatment.

— Some media outlets have referred to the comment as a “lynching remark,” but there is no evidence that is what she was referring to.

4. Another flip for Democrats as Arizona’s Senate seat falls

— After a week-long count, Kyrsten Sinema beat Republican Martha McSally by 1.7 percent in a race for Senator Jeff Flake’s vacated seat.

— Democrats are excited and Republicans are not. The ripping of Arizona Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain by the Republican president did not play well as 12 percent of Republicans voted for the Democrat. The Republican governor won by double-digits.

3. It is possible that former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is damaged goods as a future candidate

— Discussion of Sessions’ political future may be for naught as more Republicans view the former Alabama Senator negatively (46 percent) than positively (33 percent).

— There is little doubt that Sessions could beat Alabama Senator Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook), but there are questions about whether he could win a Republican primary against Trump-friendly candidates.

2. Alabama State Board of Education member believes that the Alabama Accountability Act is about an attempt to “destroy a whole race of people

— The school boards Ella Bell nonsensically claimed the program harms black children, saying, “They took money from the poorest counties in the state to send kids to private school.” She called it “stealing,” even though over half of the students in the program are minorities.

— The fight over the AAA will probably be short-lived as Senate Pro-Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) is the sponsor. It is his bill and any repeal or modification will have to go through the body he controls.

1. Impeachment may not be a good idea for Democrats, according to polling

— Overall support for impeaching Trump is only at 33 percent, with a majority of 51 percent saying they do not support impeachment.

— There is no sign that the leadership won’t placate the 78 percent of Democrats who voted in the midterms who want it done right now, which is a bit higher than Democrats who support it overall (61 percent).

1 week ago

7 Things: Trump criticized during Europe visit, America’s ballot counting goes on, Alabama Democratic chair defends her own party members and dismisses suppression claims from Democrats and more …

(White House/Flickr)

7. The migrant caravan that we are told isn’t coming to the United States is coming to the United States

— The AP reports that thousands of migrants were back on the move toward the U.S. Trains from Mexico City took them to the outskirts and they began walking north.

In unrelated news, an illegal immigrant who was released because ICE couldn’t pick him up murdered three people. But don’t worry, they have a lower crime rate than U.S. citizens.

6. Congressman Mo Brooks applauds President Donald Trump’s attempts to remake America’s asylum process

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— President Donald Trump’s made a Presidential Proclamation that asylum seekers can no longer attempt to claim asylum after being caught entering the country illegally. Liberals are already challenging it.

— In response to the president’s move to end this “abuse,” Brooks released a statement that partially read, “Let me make this clear: no one has a right to demand asylum from any nation. Asylum and sanctuary is a discretionary benefit given by nations to those with clear justification. Too often, illegal aliens are coached by attorneys to say ‘magic words’ that help them take advantage of America’s generosity. Their exploitation of America’s already generous immigration laws must stop! As such, I support President Trump’s steps to close asylum loopholes and stop the damage to America caused by illegal aliens’ wrongful conduct.”

5. Nationwide Democratic wins could lead to Democrats loving federalism 

— Democrats took 62 of the 99 state legislative seats and added seven new governorships. Some elected officials are talking about taking on some thorny issues under the guise of state’s rights.

— The newfound power by Democrats could lead to new laws on guns, pot, health care, abortion rights and higher taxes.

4. Four Alabama A&M students claim they were disenfranchised on Election Day

— The students claim they were denied the right to vote, even though they all cast provisional ballots. this is a far cry from the hundreds that the Madison County probate judge and former Democrat Party chairman claimed were disenfranchised in 2016.

— Two of the students were rejected because they were not registered. The other two aren’t residents of Madison County.

3. The head of the Alabama Democratic Party calls out her own candidates for lying about voter fraud

— Alabama Democrat Chairwoman Nancy Worley explained that Mallory Hagan, who was challenging Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Saks), was prepared to lie about what was happening in Alabama. She said, “Having been secretary of state, I knew how our purge process works. And it takes a long number of years to get on that list. And so I tried to explain to them that you don’t want to say things that are not true. You don’t want to make an issue out of something that is not an issue. And they disagreed with me greatly on that. That’s a process of ‘Nancy Worley is not going to tell somebody she knows when she knows it’s not the truth.’ And other people are willing in politics to get out there and create strawmen. So, that’s the way politics works.”

— Worley also fielded questions about whether the state party did enough to help candidates. She said thinks they are doing fine, explaining, “I think we’ve got a lot of work to do. We certainly need to go out into many of our counties and have a more active organization because all politics is local. It’s grassroots.”

2. Lots of questions about vote counts in Florida, Georgia and Arizona

— The media’s knew trope of “without evidence” is being used to dismiss any and all questions about the improprieties taking place in South Florida and that includes dismissed media suppression, illegal voters, a history of misdeeds, missing deadlines, ignoring court orders and more.

In Georgia, new ballots are being found and Arizona now apparently will have a Democratic senator after calling the race for the Republicans the night of the election.

1. Media is on the attack over President Donald Trump not attending a World War I event — They are telling half the story

— Never missing an opportunity to hammer the president, the American media took him to task for not attending a ceremony after the Secret Service grounded his helicopter due to the weather, implying he was dismissive of the sacrifice of American and allied soldiers.

— Trump delivered remarks at Suresnes American Cemetery the next day in the pouring rain. The media then pivoted to reading statements by foreign leaders as rebukes of Trump.

1 week ago

VIDEO: A red wave hits Alabama, the midterms bring mixed results to Congress, Jeff Sessions is finally cut loose by President Donald Trump, and more on Guerrilla Politics…

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Dr. Waymon Burke take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— How did Republicans gain seats when they already had a supermajority?

— Which is the bigger story, Democrats taking the House or Republicans hanging on to the Senate?

— What is next for former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions?

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Jackson and Burke are joined by former Congressman Parker Griffith (D-Huntsville) to talk about the current state of the Democratic Party in Alabama.

Jackson closes the show with a “Parting Shot” directed at U.S. Doug Jones (D-AL), who should probably not buy a place in Washington D.C.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Mueller probe rattles on as protests pick up, loser Alabama Democratic candidates seek someone to blame, Trump moves to restrict asylum seekers’ options and more …

(WH/ YouTube)

7. Democrats don’t want Nancy Pelosi as the speaker of the House — They will get her anyway

— While only a small number of members have said they won’t vote for Pelosi, others are being more guarded. Most expect her to easily win the post.

— The elected Democrats may break for Pelosi. More than half of the Democratic voters polled before the election want to see someone else leading the House of Representatives, while only one-third want to see her in charge.

6. Sen. Doug Jones supports CNN’s Jim Acosta and frames it as a constitutional right

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— Jones responded to the White House pulling the press credentials of the controversial CNN reporter by declaring it a “freedom of the press” issue.

— In a tweet, Jones added, “In America, we should not only applaud the tough questions- but strive to answer them honestly… & ensure the press is able to keep power in check. Without exception”.

5. Congressman Bradley Byrne warns: “Get ready for crazy season from House Democrats”

— Byrne stated “crazy season” will involve Democrats having “all sorts of their own investigations.” He added, “They’ll plow the same ground over and over again.”

— Democrats have talked about the impeachment of the president, impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and a two-year period of never-ending investigations.

4. The Department of Justice prepares to move forward with restrictions on asylum claims

— As the media took Trump to task for not talking about the caravan after the election, the DOJ announced that asylum seekers will be required to apply at a port of entry as opposed to declaring asylum anywhere they are caught entering.

— Another migrant caravan says they will not take asylum in Mexico and is now demanding buses take them to the United States.

3. After loser candidates attack the Alabama Democratic Party, others are gnashing their teeth — Nothing will change

— Failed candidates for Congress Mallory Hagan and Tabitha Isner have pointed out that the state party failed them. Former State Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb said the party lacks “decent party leadership” and State Rep. Chris England declared, “It seems like a lot of people somehow just realized during this election cycle that the Alabama Democratic Party is a dysfunctional mess the needs new leadership”.

— To show exactly how screwed the Alabama Democratic Party is, there were roughly 660,000 straight-ticket votes for the Republican Party and 450,000 for Democratic Party in an election where the Democratic candidate for governor only received 686,774 total votes.

2. Protests break out across Alabama because people who never wanted Jeff Sessions appointed saw him fired

— In spite of the fact that the current acting attorney general has no reason to recuse himself, it is one of the main demands of the protesters. They are also demanding that Congress “protect Mueller” and his investigation.

— There were 900+ protests planned all over the country. Alabama had events in AuburnBirminghamDothanFairhopeFlorenceHuntsvilleMontgomery and
Tuscaloosa.

1. Special counsel Robert Mueller is working on his final report while the media whines the whole thing is about to be blown up

— As protests and belly-aching continue nationwide, reports indicate the investigation into Russian meddling appears to be wrapping up and the final report is being written as Trump’s team finishes their responses to the probe’s investigators.

— Although the investigation has gone on for 18 months and Trump repeatedly has said he will not cancel the investigation and called the whole thing a “hoax,” he wasn’t worried about the investigation.

2 weeks ago

Who will run? Previewing Alabama’s 2020 U.S. Senate Election

(YHN,PolitiFact/YouTube)

Yellowhammer News previewed the 2020 U.S. Senate race three months ago, but things are really taking shape now that Alabama’s midterm election has passed.

However, there has been a “known unknown” thrust into the mix: will Jeff Sessions run to reclaim his former seat? That has become the key dynamic in the race that hopefully will be answered soon.

Yet, as much as that could shake up the Republican primary, there is one thing that has not changed and, in fact, became even clearer to the masses after Tuesday’s general election: Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) will not win a full term of his own, barring another Roy Moore-type debacle.

Who will be the Republican to defeat Jones? Here are the eight most compelling candidates to do just that, broken down by whether Sessions does or does not run.

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If Sessions does not run: Ainsworth is on the rise in Alabama politics, and a jump to the United States Senate in 2020 now does not look like too much of a leap. He built solid name identification this year and would have a recency advantage over most of the pack in a primary season expected to kick off within months.

Another advantage Ainsworth has going is age. Alabama could really benefit from someone getting into the Senate who can stay for 30 – 40 years, in the mold of legendary statesman Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa), and Ainsworth certainly fits the bill.

He knows the issues and seems comfortable talking to Republicans of all stripes. From economic development to immigration and abortion, Ainsworth has a wide-ranging portfolio of topics he is already on the record about. Coupled with his multi-millions in self-funding ability and his family’s ties to top-level federal donor networks, Ainsworth would be a major player if he decided to run. It would be a “free shot” for him considering his term as lieutenant governor will end in 2023, so keep a close eye on this young gun from Marshall County.

If Sessions does run: Ainsworth has a long future ahead of him and would be unlikely to risk his rising stock with a run against the venerable former senator. It would be best to wait for a better opportunity in this scenario.

If Sessions does not run: Someone from the Huntsville area will run for the Senate in a free-for-all field, with Battle being by far the strongest candidate from the area. The mayor has proven that he has a stronghold of votes in and around Madison County. For both fundraising and turnout, Huntsville’s reliance on federal dollars and policies will be a big boost for him.

By staying positive and building name identification in his television advertising against Governor Kay Ivey, Battle fostered good-will amongst some of the Republican Party faithful and built a base of favorability for this future run. However, it’s unclear how Battle will fare in a statewide race in which multiple candidates will be throwing jabs at him, probably all from the right. His social conservative bona fides will come under attack, and pivoting to economic development talking points will not work with the vast majority of Republican primary voters.

There is also speculation he still really does want to be governor and may wait until 2022 to try and do so. If Battle does not run for the Senate in this scenario, look for someone like Rep. Mo Brooks (AL-5) to carry the banner for north Alabama.

If Sessions does run: While Sessions is from south Alabama, his base runs statewide and federal industries in Huntsville have known him as a friend already in the Senate. Battle would stand little chance against Sessions and would be very unlikely to challenge him, as any credible Sessions challenge would have to come from Sessions’ right.

If Sessions does not run: Byrne has been the one potential candidate that has been out working across the state, traveling to different civic meetings, touring economic development sites to lay the groundwork for his campaign and sending press releases out left and right (well, right and right). Now that he won re-election on Tuesday, Byrne confirmed that he is officially exploring a Senate run.

In what is sure to be a crowded primary field, candidates with strong geographic bases like Byrne’s in vote-rich Baldwin and Mobile counties already have a leg-up as they seek to make a primary runoff. Byrne also has experience running statewide, a resulting name I.D. advantage over Alabama’s other seven members of the U.S. House, economic development success stories to tell and proven big-league fundraising ability. He also has over $1.1 million on hand as of October 17, and can continue raising money under his House committee, that can be transferred to an eventual Senate committee.

From his messaging in the past few months, it also looks like Byrne is aware that he needs to prove that he has learned from his 2010 upset defeat and better message to base Republican primary voters because he has been out front on social issues. If Sessions does not run, Byrne has vaulted himself to the front of the pack with his early hard-work.

If Sessions does run: This is a big question. Again, Byrne has been out working, which may scare some other credible candidates off. However, would Sessions put him off? They are both from the Mobile-area, so Byrne’s geographic advantage would be shot. It is unclear if this was his intent, but Byrne also signaled deference to the now-former attorney general after his resignation, saying he expects to meet with him in the “next few weeks.” This would seem to box Byrne in now, with it being expected that Byrne’s respect for Sessions would outweigh his ambition to run for the seat. Byrne is still going to be out working until that meeting, but he would have been better off framing any Sessions meeting as a talk about policy issues or a chat between friends instead of letting it look like a request for permission to run.

If Sessions does not run: Cavanaugh is amongst the most recognizable names in state politics, with the sky-high name identification that normally takes millions of dollars and many years to build. In what would be a relatively crowded field if Sessions sits the race out, a 2020 run would make a lot of sense for Cavanaugh. Her name I.D. alone would see her at or near the top of preliminary polls, and this kind of early success normally has an effect on donors, endorsements and earned-media coverage.

Consider also that Cavanaugh proved herself as a prolific fundraiser this past cycle, raising over $1.6 million in the lieutenant governor’s race and building a strong network of donors and influential supporters. Combined with her strong favorability with the Republican base, proven political savvy and leadership on social conservative issues (she co-chaired the successful effort to pass Amendment Two), she has the balance that most other candidates do not. And, as potentially the only woman in the race, she would stand out from the crowd.

If Sessions does run: Cavanaugh would be extremely unlikely to challenge Sessions, who she greatly respects and considers a friend.

If Sessions does not run: Like Ainsworth, this would be a free shot for Marsh, as his sixth term in the State Senate will not end until 2022, and his prolific self-funding ability is right up there with the best of them, which could give him a significant cash-on-hand head-start on almost all other elected officials on this list. Marsh also has a top-notch fundraising network to add onto his own funds, making him tough to compete with on the air waves.

As evidenced by this television ad he released last month, Marsh does have a compelling story to tell, too – it is one that resonates with Alabamians. Between his entrepreneurial successes and records of public service, Marsh will sell well on the campaign trail and in ads. He still has a long way to go in building the necessary name I.D., yet the silver lining – money and time, two things Marsh has on his side, can accomplish this.

Keep an eye on the major issues expected to come up in the Alabama Legislature in 2019 – infrastructure (probably a gas tax), the lottery and education reform – and how these could affect Marsh’s potential campaign.

If Sessions does run: Do not expect to see Marsh challenge Sessions. He can bide his time waiting on a better opportunity as Pro Tem.

If Sessions does not run: Not much has changed for Palmer since Yellowhammer News’ last preview. While Byrne has been out working and Marsh and Ainsworth impressed with recent television ads, Palmer has been laying low statewide as he works away on Capitol Hill.

This being said, if no other serious candidate from the Birmingham metropolitan area enters the race, Palmer would have the potential to collect a sizable vote from his ruby-red district. As a member of the House Freedom Caucus and given his tenure at the Alabama Policy Institute, he will have significant grassroots and Republican base appeal. Palmer not only knows conservative issues, he knows how to message conservative issues. He will be able to raise money competitively from the Birmingham business community and as a sitting Member of Congress, plus he has around $520,000 currently in his campaign coffer. His challenge will be low name identification outside of his district, and if the last few months are good indicators, being proactive in laying campaign ground work and promoting himself.

If Sessions does run: While Sessions likely clears the field of credible candidates completely or near it, Palmer seems more likely to run under this scenario than Byrne and certainly more so than Marsh (the two other candidates besides Palmer most rumored to be strongly weighing runs). He put out a statement on Sessions’ resignation a day after the fact, and it read like one that was trying a little too hard to not say much.

If Sessions does not run: People close to Roby do not seem to see this in the cards, but it makes a lot of sense. Besides Cavanaugh, she is the only woman with name recognition who could enter the race. Alabamians also tend to elect candidates who have the potential of acquiring and leveraging seniority in the Senate. Having just turned 42 in the last few months, Roby could serve for forty years if elected, matching one of Ainsworth’s strengths.

Assuming Roby would only enter the race if Cavanaugh did not, she could garner a sizable vote in the River Region and the Wiregrass, a Republican stronghold. Committee assignments will change with the new Congress, but Roby will hold some degree of fundraising leverage still and currently boasts a campaign balance of approximately $450,000.

She has almost entirely moved past her infamous opposition to President Donald Trump and could mount a compelling campaign if she wants to. That seems to be the biggest question, though. At her age, this might not be the best cycle to risk losing her House seat.

If Sessions does run: Roby will not run.

While Yellowhammer News has seen credible polling that shows Sessions’ net favorability is now slightly under water, he enjoys nearly universal name recognition in the state, as well as a record of service in the U.S. Senate that Alabama Republicans revered. Time will significantly heal the Trump wounds, and the president may very well publicly give his backing to Sessions in the near future and speed up his favorability recovery. Consider, too, that Sessions has approximately $2.5 million sitting idle in his campaign account.

Regardless, Sessions would clear the field completely or almost so of all credible candidates. Elected officials, party activists and conservative politicos have deep respect for Sessions and his lifetime of service, and many consider him to be a personal friend. Out of deference/respect, it would be hard to imagine a big name challenger to him returning to his seat, if he really wants it. Nominating Sessions would also be a guaranteed win against Doug Jones.

One aspect to ponder is whether Sessions would get his seniority back. Senate rules and recent precedent seem to suggest the answer would be “no,” however Sessions and Leader McConnell go way back, and Sen. Shelby would also probably have a thing or two to say about this in Sessions’ favor.

At the end of the day, this race is frozen for awhile until Sessions makes a decision. Knowing this, he holds a lot of power, and even if he eventually does not run, he could help tilt the race in a specific candidate’s favor by how long he keeps his cards close to the vest.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 weeks ago

Planned Parenthood’s anti-Amendment Two campaign was a massive waste of money

(Lorie Shaull/Wikicommons, Pixabay)

After Planned Parenthood and allied out-of-state liberal groups spent approximately $1.5 million in dark money opposition to Amendment Two on Tuesday’s statewide general election ballot, the pro-life constitutional amendment still passed comfortably.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting as of Thursday morning, Amendment Two received 913,224 (59 percent) “Yes” votes and 634,122 (41 percent) “No” votes.

For comparison, consider that the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, Dr. Will Boyd, spent only $13,715 on advertising the entire campaign cycle and received more votes 657,040 (albeit a lower percentage at 38.7) than the amendment opposition did.

So, the massive advertising against the amendment barely made a scratch. And that is not even factoring in the free advertising that Planned Parenthood and the like got from mainstream media outlets like Alabama Media Group and the Associated Press, who helped spread misinformation against Amendment Two on a fact-free basis.

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While the opposition failed miserably, the pro-life, conservative leaders who vocally and unwaveringly took a stand in the face of this massive media blitz should be applauded. Led by the Alliance for a Pro-life Alabama – which was co-chaired by PSC President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh, ALGOP Chairman Terry Lathan and former state Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin and organized by Cole Wagner and Rick Renshaw – along with strong support from Governor Kay Ivey, Attorney General Steve Marshall, Lieutenant Governor-elect Will Ainsworth, Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh and House Speaker Mac McCutcheon, truth won the day and Alabama values were affirmed.

Outside groups should think twice next time before interfering in an Alabama election, as the Yellowhammer State’s motto of “We Dare Defend Our Rights” rings true. Would that $1.5 million not have been better spent on something like, well, women’s healthcare?

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Alabama election results doom Doug Jones, Sessions out as AG, Trump pounds losing Republicans but seeks deals with Democrats and more …

(TIME, White House/YouTube, D. Jones/ Facebook)

7. Red wave in Alabama is bigger than most expected — ALGOP adds seats to supermajorities

— A bloodbath for Alabama Democrats whose huge turnout yielded roughly the same number of votes as the party received in the 2017 special U.S. Senate election. Alabama Republicans swept in all statewide constitutional officers and judicial candidates on the ballot, and they also rendered “yes” verdicts on all of the Republican legislature’s constitutional amendments.

— Most shockingly, the ALGOP strengthened their supermajorities by gaining one seat in the Alabama Senate, making it now 27-8, and five seats in the Alabama House of Representatives, making it now 77-28.

6. Missing from all election talk is the fact that Republicans still control most legislatures

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— Most of the coverage of the midterms focuses on the Democrats capturing the House and Republicans holding on the Senate with moderate gains. Missing from all of this is that Democrats seized six legislative chambers while leaving the GOP in control in 30 states, which is down one.

— The six bodies that changed control is far below the historical average and significantly less than the last wave election of 2010 Republicans took 24 legislative chambers.

5. Democrats push more post-election stupidity with talk of a “popular Senate vote

— Some in the media and their Democrats don’t understand that the reason they got more votes in the Senate races yet lost seats is that Democrats is because they were defending a total of 26 states, while Republicans were defending just nine.

— Even the Washington Post found this to be silly because they actually won 63 percent of the Senate seats up for election while only winning just 55 percent of the vote

4. Failed Alabama Democrat candidate Mallory Hagan attacks failed Democrat power structure

— The Democratic loser in Alabama’s third congressional district contest was addressing supporters after a 28-point beatdown to Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) when she told them that the current Alabama Democratic leadership did not have “your best interests at heart.”

— She told her supporters, “I told you that I would fight for you and I will continue to do so because there are people who are in control of the Democratic Party who do not have your best interests at heart.” She added, “There are people who are in control of the Democratic Party who say they are fighting for you, who say they are standing up for you, who say they care about you and your communities. And yet, they shit on Democratic candidates left and right, excuse my language.”

3. Trump takes on losers in his own party for some reason, says he is glad Democrats won so they can make deals

— Soon to be former Representatives Mia Love, Barbara Comstock and Mike Coffman caught the president’s ire for not seeking his help in the 2018 midterms at a rambling press conference where he didn’t mention the folks he supported who lose. The conference also featured a weird confrontation with CNN’s Jim Acosta where Trump called him “a terrible person.”

— Speaking on a potential bipartisan deal-making posture, Trump said, “Now we have a much easier path because the Democrats will come to us with a plan for infrastructure, a plan for health care, a plan for whatever they’re looking at, and we’ll negotiate.”

2. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is out, his chief of staff is in — Seemingly baseless speculation continues about the Mueller probe

— Sessions and President Trump have had a contentious relationship ever since the former Alabama senator rightly recused himself from the Russia/Trump investigation because he was on the campaign. Trump never forgave him and Sessions never cared.

— Alabama’s elected officials lavished praise upon Sessions. Former Alabama Senator Luther Strange wants him to run for Senate, while conservative commentators attacked Sessions for not being loyal enough to Trump

1. Alabama’s 2018 election results doom Senator Doug Jones in 2020

— Jones and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox got roughly the same number of votes, but Republicans who stayed home for Moore in 2017 showed up for Republicans in the midterms and crushed Democrats in Alabama by over 300,000 votes.

— As if the results weren’t bad enough, recently resigned former AG Jeff Session is reportedly considering running for his old seat. But many question if the rank and file Republican voters will accept him after his dust-ups with Trump.

2 weeks ago

Six takeaways from Tuesday’s elections in Alabama

(W.Miller/YHN)

Nationally, it wasn’t the best of outcomes for the Republican Party in Tuesday’s midterm elections. Despite gaining seats in the U.S. Senate, Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives, which will inevitably have consequences for Donald Trump’s presidency.

Back home in Alabama, it was a much different story. The wounds of the 2017 U.S. Senate special election loss appear to have healed, and Alabama is resuming its traditional role as a decidedly pro-Republican state.

Much of what happened was to be expected, but there are a few things that we thought we knew but were verified after the results were tallied.

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1) The Alabama Democratic Party needs to do some soul-searching: Earlier this year, there was a move to unseat state Democratic Party chairwoman Nancy Worley. That effort, which was backed by Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook), ultimately failed.

But maybe right now, Democrats wish they had gone with Peck Fox.

As it turned out, Alabama Democratic Caucus chair Joe Reed’s alleged get-out-the-vote effort/shakedown was ineffective (and perhaps non-existent), given Democrats actually lost ground in the legislature.

2) The Monroe County theorem holds: If things were so pro-Republican nationally that the GOP had a shot at keeping the U.S. House and the election was so nationalized, then perhaps there was enough Republican sentiment to flip county offices in Monroe County, a county that went for Donald Trump and Roy Moore but is still still dominated by Democrats at the county level.

Republicans didn’t win any countywide contests in Monroe County. While it looked as if they had a shot based on a Monroe County Courthouse lawn GOP rally in Monroeville held late in the campaign cycle that included an appearance from Gov. Kay Ivey, Democrats held the district and probate judgeships and the sheriff’s office.

If there was a non-metropolitan area outside of Alabama’s seventh congressional district on which the Alabama Republican Party should focus, it is the uniquely situated Monroe County sandwiched between ruby-red Baldwin County and dark blue Wilcox County.

3) Walt Maddox needs a better pollster: Headed into Tuesday’s election, Maddox maintained he was polling within the margin of error. It was all about “#Believe,” and they were in striking distance of a win.

Nah.

Maddox lost by 20 points, well outside the margin of error, and by more than 328,000 votes. That’s more than the combined populations of Birmingham and Maddox’s hometown of Tuscaloosa.

4) No Blue Wave in Lee and Tuscaloosa Counties: These two counties were thought to be ground zero for any signs of life for a Democratic Party reemergence in Alabama. They went hard for Doug Jones in the 2017 special election.

But it wasn’t to be in 2018.

Maddox lost Tuscaloosa County, his home county, by 30 votes. He lost Lee County by nearly 19 points, roughly 9,000 votes.

5) No Dem upset in state legislature races: Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow (D-Red Bay) came close, but in the end, he was unable to reclaim the seat once held by Roger Bedford. State Sen. Larry Stutts (R-Tuscumbia) was able to hold on to his northwestern Alabama State Senate District 6 seat.

Republican Andrew Jones soundly defeated Rep. Craig Ford in his bid to run as an independent in northeastern Alabama’s State Senate District 10.

And State Sen. Tom Whatley earned a win over Democrat Nancy Bendinger by a 5-point margin in State Senate District 24, which is comprised mainly of Lee County.

6) Alabama’s political media are still irrelevant: Newspaper endorsements, a demand for debates — none of that mattered.

We were told repeatedly by the likes of AL(dot)com and various other political news outlets the people of Alabama deserved a debate between Kay Ivey and Walt Maddox.

Voters shrugged off the newspaper endorsements that were dominated by Democratic Party political hopefuls and did not punish Ivey for declining a debate.

The question is, given this obvious shortcoming of our state’s political media, will they change their ways?  Probably not.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

2 weeks ago

Red wave sweeps through Alabama

(YHN)

Tuesday was a massive electoral victory for Alabama conservatives, from statewide contests to legislative battles, with Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan lauding the “historic night” and thanking the voters who made it possible.

Governor Kay Ivey trounced Mayor Walt Maddox to win a full term, as did Attorney General Steve Marshall against Joseph Siegelman. In the chief justice race, Associate Justice Tom Parker comfortably defeated Judge Bob Vance, while state Rep. Will Ainsworth (R-Guntersville) cruised to victory in the lieutenant governor contest, as did Secretary of State John Merrill, State Auditor Jim Zeigler, PSC Place 1 Commissioner Jeremy Oden and PSC Place 2 Commissioner Chip Beeker in their respective reelection bids.

Republicans won all statewide judicial races in addition to the chief justice race, led by Jay Mitchell’s easy win over Democrat Donna Smalley in the Supreme Court associate justice place four contest. Then, there were the four constitutional amendments, which all passed comfortably – even Amendment Two, which faced approximately $1.5 million in out-of-state, dark money opposition.

Perhaps the most impressive feat by Alabama Republicans came in the battle for control over the state legislature. Republicans, already with supermajorities in both chambers, picked up seats in the state senate and state house.

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Republicans gained one seat in the Alabama Senate, now having a 27 – 8 supermajority. In the State House of Representatives, Republicans gained five seats, bringing their supermajority to 77 – 28.

In a statement Tuesday night, Lathan declared victory, as a red wave came to fruition in the Yellowhammer State.

“Congratulations to all our Alabama Republican candidates. Tonight is a historic night in Alabama. For the first time in our state’s history, Alabama broke the glass ceiling and elected Kay Ivey as our first female Republican governor. We fully support Governor Ivey as she continues to lead Alabama with strength and integrity,” Lathan said.

She continued, “Stepping into the arena of public service requires sacrifice on the part of both a candidate and their family. Our state party is truly grateful for every single man and woman who chose to serve our state in this way.”

This was a win for Alabama Republicans from top to bottom.

“We congratulate our Alabama Republican Congressional Delegation, state constitutional officers, legislative and judicial candidates on their campaign wins,” Lathan added.

“Most importantly, we extend our deepest gratitude to our GOP voters that showed up to the polls today. These victories would not be possible without them. Every Republican vote cast today represents the conservative direction that Alabamians expect from our elected officials. Because of our GOP leadership and policies, Alabama and America are thriving,” the ALGOP chair concluded.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 weeks ago

7 Things: We now have a divided government, Ivey and statewide Republicans trounce hapless Alabama Democrats, voter suppression didn’t happen and more …

(Screenshots/YouTube)

7. 2020 is now

— With 2018 in the books, all attention turns towards the 2020 presidential elections. Every decision made by our new divided government will be seen through that lens.

— The 2020 Senate map looks better for Democrats, with the exception of Alabama’s Doug Jones, but both parties hold two seats in enemy territory that will be up.

6. Donald Trump makes voting great again

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— Huge early voting turnout was, in fact, an indicator of how big the overall turnout was going to be. Turnout was up everywhere, red and blue states alike. A total of 114 million votes were cast in U.S. House races in 2018, compared to 83 million in 2014.

— The final turnout will be tweaked over the next few days, but, as of now, 2018 turnout trailed 2016. It did, however, crush a normal midterm’s election in numbers.

5. Gubernatorial races in states you don’t live in were a mixed bag

— Florida stayed in the Republican camp with Governor-elect Ron DeSantis beating Andrew Gillum, while Iowa Democrat Fred Hubbell beat Republican Governor Kim Reynolds. Other surprises included Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker losing.

— Georgia’s election may go to a run-off as votes aren’t done being counted. It may fall below 50 percent for GOP Secretary of State Brian Kemp. This election could continue on for a few more weeks.

4. Voter suppression that was touted never materializes in Alabama — Again, glitches happen in some places

— The much promoted and clamored for white Republicans in Alabama punishing minorities for voting never came to fruition, which is local journalism’s “hardest hit.”

— There were issues with technology in Madison County. Glitches were a thing, they always are. They occurred in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Ohio and Wisconsin.

3. Republicans make gains in the Senate

— Democrat losses in the Senate include Joe Donnelly, Heidi Heitkamp and Bill Nelson, with a very unforgiving map.

— Republicans had one close race as well, but none closer than Ted Cruz of Texas who squeaked out a win against Democrat favorite Beto O’Rourke.

2. Democrats take the House with a huge win

— Big losses for Republicans across the country as Democrats gained 28 net seats and control of the House, which goes down as a big blow to the president’s agenda. Expect a future of divided government, investigations and more animous are coming.

— The Republicans have an uphill climb here fighting an unpopular president, history, the media, retirements and inevitability.

1. A bloodbath for Alabama Democrats as Republicans sweep and keep a super-majority in both chambers of the Alabama Legislature

Governor Kay Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall win re-election to their appointed seats easily. Chief Justice-elect Tom Parker won the closest of all statewide races as Lt. Governor-elect Will Ainsworth, Auditor Jim Ziegler and Secretary of State John Merrill cruised to election.

— Republicans ended up picking up more seats in the legislature as this was just a total repudiation of Alabama Democrats. The Doug Jones myth is dead. He won because Republicans stayed home.

2 weeks ago

Watch live WAAY-TV Election Night coverage — Yellowhammer News’ Dale Jackson, Jeff Poor joined by political scientist Dr. Waymon Burke

(YHN / Jeff Poor)

As Tuesday’s election results come in, watch Yellowhammer News’ Dale Jackson and Jeff Poor, who will be joined by Calhoun Community College’s Dr. Waymon Burke, offer news and analysis.

Not only is control of Congress on the line, but a full slate of state offices as well.

See video below.

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2 weeks ago

The worst lies about Amendment Two yet are propped up by the AP

(YHN/Pixabay)

The facially false, partisan “lies” about statewide Amendment Two have been backed by almost $1.5 million in out-of-state, dark money spending led by Planned Parenthood, with the dishonesty getting worse and worse as Tuesday’s election approached.

On Monday, the worst “lies” yet emerged, this time from the “National Advocates for Pregnant Women” (NAPW) in New York, whose main goal seems to be allowing women to terminate their pregnancies.

In a flier posted on social media, NAPW claims, “If Amendment 2 passes, police, prosecutors, judges, and other state employees would have new legal authority to use numerous Alabama laws as a basis for arresting, detaining, or controlling a woman who becomes pregnant.”

There is no nuance or gray area here — this is absurdly, and maliciously, false. As are the rest of the specific items on the flier (under the subtitle, “Who Will Be Hurt?”).

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(NAPW/Twitter)

The flier claims that women who “experience stillbirth or miscarriage,” “have home births” or “disagree with their doctor’s advice” will be amongst those “hurt” by the pro-life amendment.

These falsehoods are out-of-left-field on their own, but NAPW takes it a step further by claiming women will be “locked up because they had a pregnancy loss, home birth or abortion.”

The flier is simply not true and, hopefully for voters, wholly unbelievable. However, to make the matter much worse, the Associated Press (AP) wrote an article Monday propping up NAPW as an “advocacy group,” publishing that the amendment “would have broad ramifications for civil and criminal law beyond abortion access.”

The objective Fair Ballot Commission confirmed that this is entirely incorrect, yet their position was nowhere to be found in the AP’s article. While the publication (thankfully) did not publish the entire flier, giving any credence to the NAPW as a source of information on the amendment was reckless and a disservice to all of Alabama’s voters.

Watch Yellowhammer News’ live election night coverage closely to see if this type of outlandish smearing of Amendment Two will pay off for Planned Parenthood, its out-of-state liberal allies and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Walt Maddox.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 weeks ago

Five things to watch in Alabama on Election Day

(W.Miller/YHN)

While most will be watching what happens with the national politics and the fallout that is to come as the returns stream in, there are a handful of storylines here locally in Alabama.

How Tuesday turns out in Alabama will provide data for future elections, including in 2020 when Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) is expected to have a line of challengers on the Republican side.

Here are five things to look at after the votes are counted, and the dust settles:

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1) Monroe County as a national bellwether: In the county known for its American literary giants, Monroe County Democrats are on the defense for the first time since Reconstruction.

Monroe County is one of the last remaining holdouts for Democrats in conservative-leaning counties in Alabama. As the Blue Dog Coalition of Democrats faded and conservative Democrat officeholders made the transition to the GOP, Monroe County Democrats have been able to hold on to power.

The demographic shift resulting from Vanity Fair’s downsizing in Monroeville has aided Democrats, but the GOP is showing signs of life by fielding competitive candidates in the races for sheriff, probate judge and district judge.

If Monroe County finally makes the switch, it could be a sign of what is to come nationally.

2) Two competitive state senate races: Up in North Alabama on opposite sides of the state, the races for Alabama Senate Districts 6 and ten will be the most competitive in Alabama.

In District 6, State Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow (D-Red Bay) is challenging incumbent State Sen. Larry Stutts (R-Tuscumbia) for his seat. The seat, formerly held by Roger Bedford, is in play.

In District 10, Gadsden Democrat State Rep. Craig Ford is running as an independent against Centre Republican Andrew Jones for the seat soon to be vacated by Sen. Phil Williams (R-Rainbow City).

In a state without a lot of competitive races, these will be the two contests highlighting the slate of competitive races.

3) Will the Bob Vance-Tom Parker race for Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice be competitive? Nah, but it should be closer than the other races at the top of the ticket.

Vance has a lot of support in Alabama’s legal community. A drive around the neighborhoods of Montgomery’s Cloverdale, Birmingham suburb Mountain Brook and Mobile’s Spring Hill also yields a lot of Vance yard signs.

However, overcoming the power of the straight-ticket voting is likely to prove to be difficult, especially in a down-ballot chief justice race.

4) Watch Lee and Tuscaloosa Counties and Birmingham’s southern “Over the Mountain” suburbs: If there are any signs of Alabama Republicans losing their stranglehold on Alabama, it will be in these three places.

In Lee and Tuscaloosa Counties, the explosive growth in academia has benefitted the University of Alabama and Auburn University. With that growth comes more Democrat voters.

Democrats are also making strides in places like Homewood, Vestavia Hills and Hoover, evidenced by Doug Jones’ 2017 election win.

Most of the precincts in these areas are still solidly R, but not as solid as they used to be.

5) Stop thinking Martha Roby is vulnerable: For whatever reason, the national media has focused on Alabama’s second congressional district throughout the 2018 election cycle.

The thinking was that Roby dropped her support for Donald Trump in the late stages of the 2016 election after the so-called “Billy Bush weekend,” she could be beaten in future elections. Roby was punished with four challengers in her primary, including a relic from the River Region’s political past, former Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright.

Before Roby’s election in 2008, Bright held the seat as a Democrat. National media types watching the race from afar thought since it had recently been in Democrat’s hand, it could be flipped.

Enter Tabitha Isner. Isner has been the recipient of puff pieces from national outlets. The theory is that with the changing demographics of Montgomery, dissatisfaction with Roby and the historical precedent of a post-presidential midterm will lend itself for a favorable result for a Democrat.

That won’t be the case.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Alabama’s political media is on the ballot, Ivey and Maddox make their final pitches from the air, record early voting could bring record turnout and more …

(Ivey/Flickr, Maddox/Campaign)

7. Alabama Democrats are running a candidate that may not be able to hold office in Florence

— Caroline Self, the Democratic Party nominee for Alabama State Senate District 1 in Lauderdale, Limestone and Madison Counties, claimed she moved back to Alabama in 2017 in order to “make the stories of Alabamians better.”

— But she hasn’t been in the state long enough, according to the law, which states, “They shall have been citizens and residents of this state for three years and residents of their respective counties or districts for one year next before their election.”

6. Maddox campaign to return $10K to an admitted sexual assaulter … after being called out

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— Maddox spokesperson Chip Hill claimed they didn’t really accept the money. He said, “[W]e did not solicit the Ayers contribution, [i]t was an online donation, we reported it as required by law, and are returning it.” But you only report the donation if you accept it.

— Ayers had to step down after his attacks on women were made public, but Maddox had made no plans to reject the donation until it became publicly known.

5. Firearms manufacturer Remington has failed to hit its hiring goals; Huntsville will give them more time

— In a blow to those who support government incentives for job creation, Huntsville’s city council has given Remington three more years to hit their goal of hiring 1,868 individuals. They now have until 2022.

— Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle described the problem, “They’re 450 right now and it probably should’ve been about 600 at this point, so the ramp-up is not as rapid.”

4. While the media declares no one hacked into Georgia’s election infrastructure, they also describe over a dozen states suffered attacks

— A nearly unanimous declaration was made that there was no hack into the Georgia elections system by the media that has declared Russians hacked the 2016 election with absolutely no evidence to back up claims.

— The Boston Globe now reports that hackers have attempted to “hack” election systems more than 160 times since August, but the Department of Homeland Security does not believe it is a coordinated attack.

3. Record turnout is coming; Early turnout has been huge — 70 percent are sending Trump a message

— Most election watchers expect almost every state to have higher turnout than the 2014 midterm elections. Democrats have a massive money and small energy advantage. Republicans have historically shown up better in the midterms.

— In 2014, 21 million early votes were cast vs. 35 million that have already been cast this year. Surprisingly, 42 percent of these are Republicans, 41 percent are Democrats and 17 percent are independent or other party affiliated.

2. Dueling plane tours around the state for Governor Kay Ivey and her Democratic opponent  Walt Maddox

— Governor Ivey hit Montgomery, Huntsville, Mobile, Dothan, Auburn and Birmingham to sell her message that she has “steadied the ship of state” and that Alabama is on the right track.

— Tuscaloosa Mayor Maddox visited Mobile, Montgomery, Birmingham, Huntsville and Tuscaloosa with his message of progressive leadership and hope that Democrats in Alabama can seize on the blue momentum that may be taking hold elsewhere.

1. Alabama’s political media went all in for Democrats, sad arguments and liberal stances on constitutional amendments — Their agenda is on the ballot

— There was not a single Republican politician that the media fawned over as they did with Democratic candidates like Maddox, attorney general candidate Joseph Siegelman and chief justice candidate Bob Vance, even though a victory by any of the three will be a shocker.

— The media’s ability to be out of touch with their behavior was best on display by their coverage of “voter suppression” that will not materialize and continuous lies about Amendment 2. This is a Democrat “get out the vote” technique that will probably not bear fruit in the results.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Polls tighten with a day to go, Alabama leaders see lottery and gas tax votes coming, Maddox takes money from admitted sexual assaulter and more …

7. Voting issues bubble up before the election — not just made up stories like in Alabama

— Georgia’s secretary of state, and gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp, is alleging that Georgia’s Democratic Party had launched a “failed attempt to hack the state’s voter registration system.” A spokesperson says they are under investigation for “possible cybercrimes.”

— Last week in Texas, four women were indicted for voter fraud and one of them alleges the money she used to pay others involved came from a Democratic Party leader.

6. Another one of Brett Kavanaugh’s “accusers” has been referred to the DOJ for lying about her interactions with Kavanaugh

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— Judy Munro-Leighton has been referred for “materially false statements” about Kavanaugh raping her in the back seat of a car, turns out she never wrote that e-mail or met Kavanaugh.

— Grassley noted this was a “ploy” to oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination, saying, “She further confessed to Committee investigators that (1) she ‘just wanted to get attention’; (2) ‘it was a tactic’; and (3) ‘that was just a ploy.’ She told Committee investigators that she had called Congress multiple times during the Kavanaugh hearing process — including prior to the time Dr. Ford’s allegations surfaced — to oppose his nomination.”

5. Numbers indicate the economy is still booming right before the midterms

— The total number of workers and people looking for work are all up, showing the economy is still strong. It is going so well that President Barack Obama Obama is taking credit for the economy he said couldn’t happen.

— 250,000 jobs were created versus an expected 190,000. Wages were 3.1 percent, which is an increase over September’s 2.8 percent.

4. Disinformation over Amendment 2 is rampant and intentional — not accidental

— AL.com’s pre-election misinformation campaign continues as they produced a piece this weekend declaring that miscarriage and in vitro fertilization could be changed if the amendment passes.

— The amendment has no force of law. It is essentially a referendum that states a public policy position. It was a GOP get out the vote measure and nothing more.

3. Democratic gubernatorial nominee Walt Maddox took money from a guy who was spanking his employees and had to give up his newspaper

— As Democrats across the country try to build an entire movement on the sexual misconduct of politicians and celebrities, Maddox has accepted $10,000 from the former longtime publisher of the Anniston Star, Brandt Ayers.

— Ayers admitted to multiple sexual assaults in the 1970s against his employees, declared he wouldn’t step down because he “served honorably, even courageously, in the public interest,” only to then step down and hand over the reign of power to his wife.

2. Both Speaker Del Marsh and Speaker Mac McCutcheon are talking lottery, infrastructure and healthcare while all of these issues are missing in our election conversation

— In separate interviews with Yellowhammer News’ Jeff Poor, both Alabama State House leaders discussed issues that will come up in 2019’s legislative session.

— The most hot-button issues are sure to be a lottery (which Marsh says 65 percent of Republicans favor a vote) and infrastructure (which means a gas tax and a potential change from a flat rate to a percentage) will come up, but their outcome is uncertain.

1. Pollsters indicate a tight race for control of the House

— While Democrat control of the House is considered to be a major possibility by most predictors, generic balloting that was in the upper-teens is now back into single-digits.

— The main data point for the Republican argument is the economy and 65 percent of respondents view the economy favorably. The only time this number was higher was in January of 2001 when 70 percent viewed the economy favorably.